STAMFORD, Conn. — Madonna Badger asked the more than 500 people who gathered for her daughters’ funeral in Manhattan on Thursday to let the three girls who died in the Christmas Day fire at their Stamford home live on in their hearts.
“This is their home now,” Badger said, referring to her heart while trying to choke back tears as she began to give brief descriptions of each child. She also read a poem written by one of her daughter Lily’s 9-year-old friends. Titled “Hope,” it told of the importance of not giving up and always trying to love.
Lily, 10, and Badger's twin girls Sarah and Grace, 7, as well as her parents Lomer and Pauline Johnson, died of smoke inhalation in the fire in their Shippan Point home. The funeral was held for the girls at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Matthew Badger echoed his estranged wife’s comments in a statement read for him by the Rev. William S. Shillady.
About 40 first responders from Stamford, including Acting Fire Chief Antonio Conte, attended the funeral. Also representing Stamford were Mayor Michael Pavia; Ernie Orgera, director of the office of operations; and Laure Aubuchon, director of the office of economic development.
Investigators determined the fire was caused by fireplace embers that were put in a bag and placed in the rear of the house. The investigation is ongoing as police and fire marshals search for more answers.
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